Email Subject Lines that will Improve Open Rates

Email marketing can only be effective when people actually open your messages. Things like the copy, calls to action, links and design of the email are also very important, but those elements come after the subject line. If you don’t capture your market’s attention and get people to open your emails, none of those other things matter.


Writing subject lines that improve your open rates is a science and an art. The science entails knowing what topics will interest your market and what kinds of information you should include in your subject line. The art comes when you learn how to include those essential elements in an attractive, appealing way.

Offer an Immediate Benefit

You already know your market is overwhelmed with emails. We get so many emails from so many businesses that we need a good reason to open them, or else we click “delete.” One simple way to improve email open rates is to promise a benefit early on. Near the beginning of the subject line, tell people what’s in it for them.

Use Unexpected Information

Go against people’s common sense or use a subject line that surprises them. Phrases and titles that make people wonder if they really do know all about a topic or if there is something more to know and understand have a way of sparking curiosity. When people see these kinds of subject lines, they will feel inclined to open the email to find out more about the unexpected topic.

Leverage News

Whenever possible, leverage news and current events to give your subject lines a boost. Generally, people don’t have time to read emails and consume content about things they feel they already know about or that can’t offer real value.


By depending on national, local or even industry or business news, you can get people to open your emails because they want to find out more about something new that is happening right now.

Create Urgency with Scarcity

When people feel a sense of urgency with your emails and what they offer, they will be more likely to open them and take action. One very effective way to create that sense of urgency is to use scarcity.


This means using your subject line to tell people a special offer ends within a short time frame, that this is a one-time offer or that not everyone has the insider opportunity you are offering.

Go Local and Personalised

Build your email lists in ways that allow you to target specific groups of people. For example, you could have separate lists for potential customers, customers who live in a certain area or people who have purchased specific items.


Then, use that level of personalisation in your subject lines. For example, if you are sending out an email to people who live near one of your store locations, mention that in the subject line. Or, maybe you are offering a discount on items similar to those bought by a list of customers and can highlight that personalisation.


This is a great way to encourage people to open your emails because they don’t look spammy and they make people feel like the message has special value to them personally.


The first step in crafting effective email marketing messages is using the perfect subject line. As you use email campaigns to promote your business, pay close attention to the subject lines to make sure they will help you improve your open rate and see better results.